Kaihaka Kapa Haka has been giving some of the world’s biggest music stars an authentic Māori welcome to Aotearoa for years.
This week was no exception when the rōpū greeted many R&B and hip-hop artists, that performed last night at Fridayz Live in Tāmaki Makaurau, with a pōwhiri, and even gifted them with korowai.
Videos have been going viral via the social media accounts of some of the artists, such as JoJo who said the experience was “so beautiful” and that she was “honoured and moved by the graciousness of the Māori people” ahead of her first time performing in Aotearoa.
Kaihaka Kapa Haka also welcomed Boyz II Men’s Shawn Stockman and Nathan Morris, Flo Rida, Jason Derulo among others, all of whom have been very receptive to their welcome.
Derulo and JoJo were also gifted korowai, hand woven by Wawata Design’s Elyse Wilton, with the designs representing their respective stories and characteristics, bringing them both to tears.
While it’s one thing to welcome a music start to Aotearoa, it’s another to be asked to perform alongside them.
That’s exactly what happened during Jason Derulo’s performance last night at Spark Arena during Fridayz Live when Kaihaka performed a haka on stage with Les Twins, Derulo and his dancers.
Former Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland was also gifted a korowai backstage last night, although she was unable to be officially welcomed but is looking forward to her pōwhiri next time.
The rōpū had gone viral earlier this year as well when they welcomed other hip-hop and R&B artists for JuicyFest, receiving national and international recognition for showcasing te ao Māori.